In 1994 Richard Gaffin reviewed Mark Seifrid’s book, Justification by Faith: The Origin and Development of a Central Pauline Theme (1992). Please note this book was published twelve years ago. In the Westminster Theological Journal for the Spring of 1994 (Vol. 56 p. 195), at the very end of his review, Gaffin provides these fascinating words:

One final point: it is remarkable that a study like this says nothing about imputation (unless I’ve missed it, the word doesn’t occur). Perhaps the idea is implicit in Seifrid’s use of “forensic” or “juristic” (which are in fact not given much definition). Or is its absence indicative of an apparently increasing tendency that finds Paul innocent of, or not all that interested in, the notion of imputation (whether of Christ’s righteousness or Adam’s sin)?
Suffice it here to assert that this troubling trend obviously has momentous implications for the classic Protestant doctrine of justification, for which imputation is definitive. That doctrine, however the vagaries of an overly “introspective conscience” may at times inform it, has certainly not misread the apostle on this point. A gospel in which the gratuitously imputed righteousness of Christ is missing is something other than Paul’s gospel. I wish this stimulating, often instructive study had made that clear.

Gaffin, Piper, Gundry…are we all guilty of “misconstruing” the same author? I think not.

Update 12/30/2014: This review eventually became a major series of posts. For those interested in reading the entire series in order I post the links below. RP

Dr. Seifrid on Imputation July 9, 2004
More in Response to Southern Seminary Professor’s Denial of Imputed Righteousness July 9, 2004
Continuing Review of Mark Seifrid’s Views on the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness July 11, 2004
An Interesting Expansion in the LBCF, 1689 July 27, 2004
The Abstract of Principles on Justification July 30, 2004
The Imputation Controversy August 25, 2004
Imputation Controversy #2 August 26, 2004
Why I Care About “Christ, our Righteousness” August 28, 2004
Imputation Controversy #3 August 30, 2004
Southern Seminary and Dr. Mark Seifrid September 4, 2004
A Response to Southern Seminary and Dr. Mark Seifrid September 4, 2004
Listen to Today’s DL for a Full Discussion of the SBTS/Seifrid/Imputation Issue September 7, 2004
From the 1994 WTJ September 7, 2004
A Word of Rebuke to the Firebrands September 8, 2004
And Verily It Got Nuttier September 11, 2004
Yes, I Have a Copy, Thank You September 13, 2004
An Open Letter to Dr. Mark Seifrid (Part 1) September 14, 2004
Seifrid Response, Part II September 15, 2004
Seifrid Response, Part III September 18, 2004
Open Letter to Mark Seifrid, Part IV September 21, 2004
Open Letter to Mark Seifrid, Part V October 2, 2004
If I Misrepresented Dr. Seifrid, then…. December 3, 2004

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